Two days ago I freaked out. I have an 80000 word book due at the end of September, and as of last night I’ve done 16000 words. I have an essay due. I have some editing. I have a lot of crap to write, and all I could do was clean my house and sit blankly in front of my laptop having an anxiety attack. So then I’d go for a run, or go to the gym. Or clean some more. And then panic some more. Then I’d send a freaked out email to my editor telling her how panicked I was. Then I’d moan at my writer friends.
Did any of this help me write the book? No. (Although both my editor and writer friends made me feel better!)
So here’s some things I did to deal with The Dreaded Slump:
- Change your environment! (I went to sit and work in Cinnamon Square, which is one of my favourite places to write)
- Treat yourself to something delicious (Somehow, cake makes writing easier. I swear it’s scientific)
- Write for fun- do some random writing tasks, some freewriting, or write from a different character’s perspective for a bit
- Know that you’ve got through this before, and it always feels like shit sometimes.
- Know that you are incapable of judging your own work at times like this.
- DO NOT EDIT. Rush on through like a train- no stopping at pointless stations!
- Remember you used to do this because you LIKE writing, you like the story you’ve got!
- Deadlines can be changed, just don’t leave it- make sure you’re still writing.
- Read something you love, and remind yourself that stories are great!
I’m back on track with the writing now. Am I still panicked about the deadline? About the word count? About not having enough hours in the day? Yes, of course. But I’m enjoying writing again. And I have cake.